Finnish Interview Tips
Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, a job search in Finland requires more than just the obvious Finnish CV writing and translation - it requires thorough preparation. You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you start planning to go for jobs in Finland.
Do not underestimate the impact they can have on the result of your adventure! For example, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, the selection trends and the management culture.
Most visits to Finland are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
The number of times prospective candidates are interviewed varies depending on the company, the position and whether or not tests are involved. You can expect two to three job interviews. The application procedure differs between the public and the private sector in Finland. Before a job interview, phone the personnel manager of the company, to introduce yourself.
Punctuality is essential in Finland, so arrive at least 10 minutes before the job interview and turn off your cellphone. Smiling lightly show your friendly face.
Remember, how you dress is the one of the most important aspects in not being hired.
So, check the Finnish dress code
Prepare yourself for Finnish interview - find out information about the company you want to work for. Before an interview, practice your few-sentence "speech" about who you are and what you do. Do not whine. Do not talk about being jobless. Do not dump on your former employer. Be positive. Remember that letters of reference and photocopies of academic certificates at initial interviews are customary. An extra CV can be handy too.
You will never get a second chance to make a first impression!
Remember, the same keywords you used in your CV will be the foundation for your job interviews. Not only do you need to be able to write about your keywords, but also during an interview, you must be able to speak about them as well, in strong and powerful statements that highlight your successes, contributions and achievements.
Usually the Finnish interview starts with introductions and handshakes with everyone present. Maintain eye contact while talking with someone. Finns maintain eye contact when talking with others and this is considered important as they think that people who do not maintain eye contact are hiding something or are dishonest.
Finns usually use first names, unless there are big differences in age or rank or it is a very formal setting. However, it is recommended to use professional titles or Mr/Mrs/Miss with the last name when addressing someone doing an interview. Talk effectively demonstrating your knowledge of the industry and/or the company, do not interrupt the interviewer and criticize former employers. Do not sit until invited.
Prepare for all kinds of questions. Finns attach great importance to interpersonal relations. Social skills, communication skills and teamwork abilities are the skills most in demand. Whether or not you fit into the team is more important for Finland recruiters than your technical competencies. Answer questions as fully as you can, avoiding yes and no answers.
The Finnish interviewers often ask about your past successes and mistakes on the job. It is a good idea to prepare a few career success stories and couple that had less than favorable outcomes but were learning experiences.
At the Finnish interview you do not have to answer personal questions, but consider in advance how you are going to tackle them. If you feel uncomfortable with a question asked, simply smile and say, "In my country, that would be a strange question."
During the Finnish interview do not volunteer information that the interviewer does not ask for
Ask questions about the job, the lines of authority and your responsibilities, but avoid raising the issue of salary or benefits early in the process. Do not forget to ask, “When can I expect to hear from you?” (if that has not been discussed).
Please note that silence is seen as an integral part of social interaction and subsequently, pauses in the conversation are seen as friendly and appropriate.
At the end of your interview and before leaving, thank everyone present for interview opportunity and shake they hands.
After the interview, do not forget to write a thank you letter and subsequently follow-up by letter, email or phone call. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position.
Usually larger and international companies conduct psychological aptitude tests and job simulation. During such tests, which can last up to three days, intelligence, social and communication skills and management qualities are tested.
A medical examination is required for some occupations and some employers test all their prospective employees for drug abuse.
Other Finnish Interview Info
We hope that your Finnish interview has been successful. Follow up the job interview with a thank you letter. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position.
Good luck with your Finnish interview!